altOCTOBER 18 - ATHLETICS will continue to be held at the Olympic Stadium after it has staged the 2012 Games, the sport's chief executive in Britain claims he has been promised.


London Mayor Boris Johnson has admitted he has spoken to two Premiership football clubs, assumed to be West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur, about taking over the £580-million Stadium after the Olympics have finished.


They would not be prepared to move in unless the track was ripped up but Niels de Vos, the chief executive of UK Athletics, said he had already received assurances that the original plans promised by London 2012 when it was bidding for the Games will remain in place.


That means the 80,000-seat Stadium will be downsized after the Olympics and continue to stage athletics events.


De Vos also revealed that capacity could be added to the Stadium so that the World or European Championships could be staged in Britain for the first time.


In an interview published in the latest issue of Athletics Weekly, de Vos said: "I'm closely involved in what the legacy will be and the various negotiations there and the good news is that there is the will and commitment is there for there to be an athletics legacy.


"Everyone I speak to wants that.


"All the paperwork and plans are in place.


"It will be a 25-28,000 seater, it will be roofed and it will have the capacity to go up to 40,000 if we want to stage an event that demands that scale.


"It will have a warm-up track nearby, so I'm very happy at the way it will turn out."


Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012, has been fiercely defending the right of athletics to have a key role in the Stadium after the Games.


That is partly because the turning point for London's bid to host the Olympics was when Lamine Diack, the president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), was persuaded to back it by Coe, instead of close rival Paris, because it promised to deliver a long-term legacy for the sport in Britain.


The French-educated Senegalese had previously been upset by Tony Blair's refusal to keep a personal promise made to him in a letter to build a stadium at Pickett's Lock to host the 2005 World Championships and Britain suffered the embarrassment of having go give the event back to the IAAF, which was eventually staged in Helsinki.


De Vos said: "LOCOG (London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) will deliver what it promised it will deliver for athletics."


But there is set to be continuing controversy over the plans until an anchor tennant is found.


The current favourites remain Coca-Cola League One side Leyton Orient, although their owner Barry Hearn said that he would not play there if the track remained, or a top rugby union club like Saracens or Wasps.


De Vos told Athletics Weekly: "I don't think athletics will be a tennant because we won't use it that often and we wouldn't drive the commercial revenue.


"I'm convinced that's the right model for athletics because it means we get our stadium without any ongoing financial burden on the sport.


"That's important to me as I wouldn't want to put the sport in a position where it had to be responsible for generating many hundreds of thousands of pounds each year just to keep the Stadium open."